Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

August 12, 2012

Two Times Dead

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

There are some things you like to forget.  Yet, those things can be important in your life and the lessons you learn.  It is that which I share with you today.

In Miami, I tried to go with our bus teams as they would visit on Saturday mornings.  On a particular Saturday as the bus workers visited the homes of their regular riders, and sought to enroll new riders, the bus had stopped in front of the home of a regular rider.

Suddenly from next door, an elderly lady came out screaming for help.  As I responded, she led me inside the home where her husband was lying on the floor.  He showed no movement and was non-responsive.  As one of our bus workers called 911, I prepared to administer CPR.  However, it was not possible to blow into his mouth.  I did begin to pump his chest.  I continued several minutes of chest compressions, but there was still no response.

By now, the paramedics arrived and took over.  With all their equipment and ability, they could not revive him.  The wife understood and began to sob.  She spoke very little English, and my Spanish was not adequate for this situation.  However, one of our members was Cuban and began to give words of comfort.

I confess that my spirit felt the overcast of clouds on that Saturday morning.  What could I have done differently?  What if I had used mouth-to-mouth breathing?  To this day, I look back with questions.

That is not the only time I experienced such grief and pain.  In Central America, a bus hit an elderly lady.  She was trapped beneath the bus.  In fact, one of the wheels of the bus was still on a portion of her body.  I responded as others stood by.  I crawled under the bus to see what I might be able to do.  I had to insist that they move the bus forward very cautiously.  By now, a crowd had gathered.  Even policemen were there.  They were more concerned about moving the traffic than they were of the injured woman.  Human life did not have the same value as we place upon it in America.

She was barely conscious and I could speak little to her because of the language barrier and vocabulary for this situation in which I knew no words.  I removed my outer shirt and tied her arm to her side and  attempted to control the bleeding from her side that had been under that wheel of the bus.  I slowly pulled her from under the bus.  No emergency vehicle was available, but there was the police car.  The policemen were very vehemently opposed to placing her in their car.  I, rather forcefully, demanded that they must take her to the hospital.  They yielded with the understanding that I would hold her in the back seat.  I agreed, and we sped toward the hospital.

I sat in the waiting room for about an hour.  I did not know the woman, or how any family could be contacted.  I prayed for her as I waited.  When the doctor came out, he was surprised that a gringo was waiting for her.  He was able to speak English, and explained to me that she had not survived the terrible injuries that she received.  I left the hospital without ever knowing anything about her.  With blood on my shirt and pants, I caught a bus and headed for home.  The questions were there.  Is there something I could have done differently?  I was not trained to give  the medical help she surely needed.  Did I make matters worse?

Those are two deaths that trigger many questions as I relate them to my task of sharing the gospel.  Perhaps, like me, you have sometimes felt you didn’t do enough in certain times of witnessing and sharing your faith.  I certainly have!  There have been times when I have attempted to tell others what Christ means to me in the hope of  leading them to a faith encounter with God. I have come away from some of those times with questions.  Was I equipped?  Was I too strong?  Did I not make it clear?  What could I have done differently?  Did I create more of an obstacle to their responding to Christ?

We can beat up on ourselves.  When the response that we anticipated does not come, we need to realize that our only responsibility is to respond to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  We share at that moment what seems to be appropriate.  Our Lord only expects us to be responsive and share.  We leave the response of the person and the results to Him.  I encourage you to be available when the opportunity comes.  God will honor your faithfulness.

” . . . you will be my witnesses . . . .”  (Acts 1:8)  “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”  (Mark 16:15)




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